Ellie Krieger's Sweet and Spicy Roasted Vegetables recipe. / Renee Comet / USA WEEKEND
Roasting is one of the easiest ways to cook vegetables, yet the result is a remarkable taste transformation. The prep is simple: Just cut them up and toss with a little oil and seasoning. The oven does all the work really, concentrating the vegetables’ flavors, softening them until tender and caramelizing their natural sugars to develop a deep, sweet undertone.
A light sprinkle of salt will do just fine, but this combination of ground spices with a touch of honey adds a big “wow” factor and brings out the complex sweet-savory flavors of these colorful, nutrient-rich fall vegetables. What’s more, the antioxidants in the spices provide an extra punch of healing power to the dish.
Feel free to swap in other vegetables you may have on hand: Parsnips, cauliflower, sweet potato and different varieties of winter squash will all work well. While the vegetables are cooking, pop a chicken breast or pork tenderloin into the oven to roast, and before long you will be digging into a delightful autumn dinner.
Sweet and Spicy Roasted Vegetables
• ½ tsp. ground cumin
• ½ tsp. ground coriander
• ½ tsp. ground ginger
• ½ tsp. salt
• ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
• ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1 Tb. honey
• 2 Tbs. olive oil
• 2 small onions
• 2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch squares
• 1½ pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
• 5 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1 Tb. fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cumin, coriander, ginger, salt, cayenne, cinnamon, honey and olive oil.
Leaving the root end on, cut each onion in half lengthwise and peel it. Then cut each half into 4 wedges so that a piece of the root remains attached to each wedge, holding it together. Place the onion wedges, red bell peppers, butternut squash and carrot into the bowl with the spices and toss to coat evenly.
Put the vegetables onto a baking sheet in a single layer and cook for 25 minutes. Stir in the thyme leaves and cook for 25 minutes more, until the vegetables are tender.
Tent with foil to keep warm until ready to serve.
Yield: 4 servings
Per serving (1¼ cups): 210 calories, 36g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 7g fat (1g saturated), 7g fiber, 0mg cholesterol, 350mg sodium
Contributing editor and registered dietitian Ellie Krieger is best known as the host of Food Network’s Healthy Appetite. Her most recent cookbook is Comfort Food Fix: Feel Good Favorites Made Healthy.